Sleepers Awake!
 Sleepers Awake!      

Sleepers Awake!

St. George’s by the River

Lent 2024


Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
- Victor Frankl –






February 18

Class 1: Introduction to mindfulness and contemplation with a formal practice of body scan and sitting meditation.


February 25

Class 2: Perception and creative responding; Cultivating mindfulness on and off the cushion. Formal practice of yoga will be introduced.


March 3

Class 3: Physiology of Stress

Awareness of stress reactivity – sensations, emotions, thoughts


March 9

Lenten quiet morning 10am -2pm

A day of mindfulness practices including yoga and qi gong. Bring your own mat (if possible) and lunch. Mostly silent with time for discussion at the end.


March 10

Class 4: Cultivating kindness and compassion for self and others


March 17

Class 5: Responding vs. reacting to stress: the role of mindfulness

               Moving from habitual behaviors to choosing more effective responses




Recommended reading: Into the Silent Land: A guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation by Martin Laird


Selected chapters will be available on the website.













Week One

--3 relaxing sighs, anytime, anywhere

--Body scan ( 30 min. audio file)

Mindfulness of routine activities (workbook)

--Read chapter one, Into the Silent Land


Week Two:

--Sitting meditation (15 min. audio file)

--Alternate body scan with sitting meditation (15 min. audio file), one each day

--Noticing “Pleasant Events”

--Read chapter 2, Into the Silent Land


Week Three:

--Alternate sitting meditation/ yoga daily (see video on website for yoga assist)

--Noticing “Unpleasant Events”

Read chapter 5, Into the Silent Land


[Day of Mindfulness]


Week Four:

--Formal practice of choice: body scan, sitting meditation, yoga

--Awareness of feeling stuck—shutting down, becoming numb, resisting the moment. Then, if possible, making a choice to respond more consciously.


Week Five:

--Formal practice of choice: body scan, sitting meditation, yoga

--Walking—choose a path where you walk every day and commit to walking that distance mindfully.

--Soften, Soothe, Allow meditation for self compassion











The Body Scan Meditation


© 2005 Jon Kabat-Zinn Excerpted from Coming to Our Senses, Hyperion Press, NY, NY



The body scan has proven to be an extremely powerful and healing form of meditation. It forms the core of the lying down practices that people train in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. It involves systematically sweeping through the body with the mind, bringing an affectionate, openhearted, interested attention to its various regions, customarily starting from the toes of the left foot and then moving through the entirety of the foot – to sole, the heel, the top of the foot – then up the left leg, including, in turn; the ankle, the shin and the calf, the knee and the kneecap, the thigh in its entirety, on the surface and deep, the groin and the left hip, then over to the toes of the right foot, the other regions of the foot, then up the right leg in the same manner as the left. From there, the focus moves into, successively, and slowly, the entirety of the pelvic region, including the hips again, the buttocks and the genitals, the lower back, the abdomen, and then the upper torso – the upper back, the chest and the ribs, the breasts, the heart and lungs and great vessels housed within the rib cage, the shoulder blades floating on the rib cage in back, all the way up to the collarbones and shoulders. From the shoulders, we move to the arms, often doing them together, starting from the tips of the fingers and thumbs and moving successively through the fingers, the palms, and backs of the hands, the wrists, forearms, elbows, upper arms, armpits, and shoulders again. Then we move in to the

neck and throat, and finally, the face and head…


When we practice the body scan, we are systematically and intentionally moving our attention though the body, attending to the various sensations in the different regions. That we can attend to these body sensations at all is quite remarkable. That we can do it at will, either impulsively or in a more disciplined systematic way, is even more so. Without moving a muscle, we can put our mind anywhere in the body we choose and feel and be aware of whatever sensations are present in that moment. 


Experientially, we might describe what we are doing during a body scan as tuning in or opening to those sensations, allowing ourselves to become aware of what is already unfolding, much of which we usually tune out because it is so obvious, so mundane, so familiar that we hardly know it is there, I mean here. And of course, by the same token we could say that most of the time in our lives we hardly know we are there, I mean here, experiencing the body, in the body, of the body . . . the words actually fail the essence of the experience. When we speak about it, as we’ve already observed, language itself forces us to speak of a separate I who “has” a body. We wind up sounding hopelessly dualistic.


And yet, in a way there certainly is a separate I who “has” a body, or at least, there is a very strong appearance of that being the case, and we have spoken of this as being the level of conventional reality, the relative, the level of appearances. In the domain of relative reality, there is the body and its sensations (object), and there is the perceiver of the sensations (subject).


Then there are moments of pure perceiving that arise sometimes in meditation practice, and

sometimes at other very special moments in life. Yet such moments are potentially available to us at all times, since they are attributes of awareness itself. Perceiving unifies the apparent subject and apparent object in the experiencing itself. Subject and object dissolve into awareness. Awareness is larger than sensation. It has a life of its own separate from the life of the body, yet intimately dependent on it.


Awareness is deeply bereft, however, when it does not have a full body to work with due to disease or injury to the nervous system itself. The intact nervous system provides us with all of our extraordinary gateways into the feeling, sensing world. Yet. Like most everything else, we take these capacities so much for granted that we hardly notice that every exquisite moment of our life in relationship, both inwardly and outwardly, depends on them. Not only might we come more to our senses, we might realize that we only know through our senses, if you include the mind, or awareness itself as a sense – you could say, the ultimate sense. . .


It is not uncommon while practicing the body scan for the sensations in the body to be felt more acutely, even for there to be more pain, a greater intensity of sensation in certain regions. At the same time, in the context of mindfulness practice, the sensations, whatever they are and however intense, are also being met more accurately too, with less overlay of interpretation, judgment and reaction, including aversion and the impulse to run, to escape.


In the body scan, we are developing a greater intimacy with bare sensation, opening to the give and-take embedded in the reciprocity between the sensations themselves and our awareness of them. As a result, it is not uncommon to be less disturbed by them, or disturbed by them in a different, a wiser way, even when they are acute. Awareness learns to let them be as they are and to hold them without triggering so much emotional reactivity and also so much inflamed thinking about them. We sometimes speak of awareness and discernment differentiating and perhaps naturally “uncoupling” the sensory dimension of the experience of pain from the emotional and cognitive dimensions of pain. In the process, the intensity of the sensations themselves can sometimes subside. In any event, they may come to be seen as less onerous, less debilitating.


It seems as if awareness itself, holding the sensations without judging them them or reacting to them, is healing our view of the body and allowing it to come to terms, at least to some degree, with conditions as they are in the present moment in ways that no longer overwhelmingly erode our quality of life, even in the fact of pain or disease. The awareness of pain really is a different realm from being caught up in pain and struggling with it, and setting foot in that realm, we discover some succor andrespite. This is itself is an experience of liberation, a profound freedom in that moment, at least from a narrower way of holding the experience of pain when it is not seen as bare sensation. It is not a cure by any means, but it is a learning and an opening, and an accepting, and a navigating the upsand downs of what previously was impenetrable and unworkable. . .


Paraphrasing James Joyce in one of his short stories in Dubliners, “Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body.” That may be an address too many of us share. Taking the miracle of embodiment for granted is a horrific loss. It would be a profound healing of our lives to get back in touch with it. All it takes is practice in coming to our senses, all of them.

And . . . a spirit of adventure. . .


The body scan is not for everybody, and it is not always the meditation of choice even for those who love it. But it is extremely useful and good to know about and practice from time to time, whatever your circumstances or condition. If you think of your body as a musical instrument, the body scan is a way of tuning it. If you think of it as a universe, the body scan is a way to come to know it. If you think of your body as a house, the body scan is away to throw open all the windows and doors and let the fresh air of awareness sweep it clean.


You can also scan your body much more quickly, depending on your time constraints and the situation you find yourself in. You can do a one in-breath or one out-breath body scan, or a one-, two-, five-, ten-, or twenty-minute body scan. The level of precision and detail will of course vary depending on how quickly you move through the body, but each speed has its virtues, and ultimately, it is about being in touch with the whole of your being and your body in any and every way you can, outside of time altogether.


You can practice body scans, long or short, lying in bed at night or in the morning. You can also practice them sitting or even standing. There are countless creative ways to bring the body scan or any other lying down meditation into your life. If you make use of any of them, it is highly likely that you will find that they will bring new life to you, and bring you to a new appreciation for your body and how much it can serve as a vehicle for embodying here and now what is deepest and best in yourself, including your dignity, your beauty, your vitality, and your mind when it is open and undisturbed.

 © 2005 Jon Kabat-Zinn, Coming to Our Senses, Hyperion Press, NY, N















Informal Mindfulness Exercises



1) Mindfulness in Your Morning Routine

Pick an activity that constitutes part of your daily morning routine, such as brushing your teeth, shaving, or having a shower. When you do it, totally focus on what you are doing: the body movements, the taste, the touch, the smell, the sight, the sound and so on. Notice what’s happening with an attitude of openness and curiosity.

For example, when you’re in the shower, notice the sounds of the water as it sprays out of the nozzle, and as it hits your body as it gurgles down the hole. Notice the temperature of the water, and the feel of it in your hair, and on your shoulders, and running down our legs. Notice the smell of the soap and shampoo, and the feel of them against your skin. Notice the sight of the water droplets on the walls or shower screen, the water dripping down your body and the steam rising upwards. Notice the movements of your arms as you wash or scrub or shampoo.


When thoughts arise, acknowledge them, let them be, and bring your attention back to the shower. Again and again, your attention will wander. As soon as you realize this has happened, gently acknowledge it, note what distracted you, and bring your attention back to the shower.




2) Mindfulness of Domestic Chores


Pick a chore that you normally try to rush through, or distract yourself from; or one for which you just ‘grit your teeth’ and try to ‘get through it’. For example: ironing clothes, washing dishes, vacuuming floors, making the kids’ lunches. Aim to do this chore as a mindfulness practice. E.g., when ironing clothes: notice the color and shape of the clothing, and the pattern made by the creases, and the new pattern as the creases disappear. Notice the hiss of the steam, the creak of the ironing board, the faint sound of the iron moving over the material. Notice the grip of your hand on the iron, and the movement of your arm and your shoulder. If boredom or frustration arises, simply acknowledge it, and bring your attention back to the task at hand. When thoughts arise, acknowledge them, let them be, and bring your attention back to what you are doing.


Again and again, your attention will wander. As soon as you realize this has happened, gently acknowledge it, note what distracted you, and bring your attention back to your current activity.



























Informal Practice Log (Simple Awareness) – Week 1


Each day this week, see if you can bring mindful awareness to some otherwise routine activity.  For instance, washing the dishes, waiting in line, sitting in a boring meeting, walking from the car to your office.  Remembering the raisin exercise, you could also use this as an opportunity to bring mindful awareness to eating, noting textures, smell, taste, touch, etc.  Before you go to bed each night, see if you can recall at least one example of “simple awareness”


What was the experience? 

What were you aware of WHILE doing this mindfully?

How did your body feel, in detail, during this experience?

What moods, feelings and thoughts accompanied this event?

What thoughts are in your mind NOW as you write this?

Day 1









Day 2









Day 3









Day 4









Day 5










Informal Practice Log (Pleasant Events Calendar) – Week 2


What was the experience?

Were you aware of the pleasant feelings while they were happening?

How did your body feel, in detail, during this experience?

What moods, feelings, and thoughts accompanied this event?

What thoughts are in your mind now as you write this?

Day 1









Day 2









Day 3









Day 4









Day 5










Informal Practice Log (Unpleasant Events Calendar) – Week 3


What was the experience?

Were you aware of the unpleasant feelings while they were happening?

How did your body feel, in detail, during this experience?

What moods, feelings, and thoughts accompanied this event

What thoughts and  emotions do you notice as you write this down

Day 1









Day 2









Day 3









Day 4









Day 5











Mindful Yoga

© 1990 Jon Kabat-Zinn

Excerpted from Full Catastrophe Living, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.

[ see VIDEOS on website



            As you have probably gathered by now, bringing mindfulness to any activity transforms it into a kind of meditation. Mindfulness dramatically amplifies the probability that any activity in which you are engaged will result in an expansion of your perspective and of your understanding of who you are. Much of the practice is simply a remembering, a reminding yourself to be fully awake, not lost in waking sleep or enshrouded in the veils of your thinking mind… Mindful hatha yoga is the third major formal meditation technique that we practice in the stress clinic, along with the body scan and sitting meditation…

            Yoga is a Sanskrit word that literally means “yoke.” The practice of yoga is the practice of yoking together or unifying body and mind, which really means penetrating into the experience of them not being separate in the first place. You can also think of it as experiencing the unity or connectedness between the individual and the universe as a whole…

            We have already seen that posture is very important in the sitting meditation and that positioning your body in certain ways can have immediate effects on your mental and emotional state. Being aware of your body language and what it reveals about your attitudes and feelings can help you to change your attitudes and feelings just by changing your physical posture… When you practice the yoga, you should be on the lookout for the many ways, some quite subtle, in which your perspective on your body, your thoughts, and your whole sense of self can change when you adopt different postures on purpose and stay in them for a time, paying full attention from moment to moment. Practicing in this way enriches the inner work enormously and takes it far beyond the physical benefits that come naturally with the stretching and strengthening…

            This is a far cry from most exercise and aerobic classes and even many yoga classes, which only focus on what the body is doing. These approaches tend to emphasize progress. They like to push, push, push. Not much attention is paid to the art of non-doing and non-striving in exercise classes, nor to the present moment for that matter, nor to the mind…

            Work at or within your body’s limits at all times, with the intention of observing and exploring the boundary between what your body can do and where it says, “Stop for now.” Never stretch beyond this limit to the point of pain. Some discomfort is inevitable when you are working at your limits, but you will need to learn how to enter this healthy “stretching zone” slowly and mindfully so that you are nourishing your body, not damaging it as you explore your limits. In the stress clinic, the ground rule is that every individual has to consciously take responsibility for reading his or her own body’s signals while doing the yoga. This means listening carefully to what your body is telling you and honoring its messages, erring on the side of being conservative. No one can listen to your body for you.










Meditations for Cultivating Wholesome States

(for others)



Loving Kindness (Metta)


May you be peaceful and happy.

May you be safe from harm.

May you be healthy and strong as you can be.

May you care for yourself easily and well.




May you be free of suffering.

I care about your suffering

May you be free of suffering

And if there is suffering, please know that I care.


Sympathetic Joy


May your happiness continue

May your happiness grow.




May you accept your experiences as they are.

May you be undisturbed by the comings and goings of all things.


(Repeat these phrases for someone you care for and for others you know or don’t know personally)




Meditations for Cultivating Wholesome States

(for yourself)



Loving Kindness (Metta)


May I be peaceful and happy.

May I be safe from harm.

May I be healthy and strong as I can be.

May I care for yourself easily and well.




May I be free of suffering.

May I care for myself in my suffering

May I be free of suffering

When I am suffering,

May I care for myself.


Sympathetic Joy


May my happiness continue

May my happiness grow.




May I accept my experiences as they are.

May I be undisturbed by the comings and goings of all things.


(Adapt these phrases to make them your own)



Reacting vs. Responding to Stress Diagram







Soften, Soothe and Allow

Please find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take three relaxing breaths. Place your hand on your heart for a few moments to remind yourself that you are in the room, and to bring kindness to yourself.



Now let yourself recall a mild-moderately difficult situation that you are in right now, perhaps a health problem, stress in a relationship, or a loved one in pain. Do not choose a very difficult problem, or a trivial problem—choose a problem that can generate a little stress in your body when you think of it. Now clearly visualize the situation. Who was there? What was said? What happened?

Now see if you can name the strongest emotion—a difficult emotion—associated with that situation: anger? sadness? grief? confusion? fear? longing? despair? Repeat the name of the emotion to yourself in a gentle, understanding voice, as if you were validating for a friend what he or she is feeling: “That’s longing.” “That’s grief.”


Mindfulness of Emotion in the Body

• Now expand your awareness to your body as a whole.

• Recall the difficult situation again and scan your body for where you feel it the most. In your mind’s eye, sweep your body from head to toe, stopping where you can sense a little tension or discomfort.

• Now choose a single location in your body where the feeling expresses itself most strongly, perhaps as a point of muscle tension or an achy feeling, like a heartache.

• In your mind, incline gently toward that spot.


Soften, Soothe, and Allow

• Soften into that location in your body. Let the muscles be soft without a requirement that they become soft, like simply applying heat to sore muscles. You can say, “soft…soft…soft…” quietly to yourself, to enhance the process. Remember that you are not trying to make the sensation go away—you are just being with them with loving awareness.

If you wish, let yourself just soften around the edges, like around the edges of a pancake. No need to go all the way in.

• Soothe yourself for struggling in this way. Put your hand over your heart and feel your body breathe. Perhaps kind words arise in our mind, such as, “Oh my dear, this is such a painful experience. May I grow in ease and well-being.”

• If you wish, you can also direct kindness to the part of your body that is under stress by placing your hand in that place. It may help to think of your body as if it were the body of a beloved child. You can say kind words to yourself, or just repeat, “soothe…soothe…soothe.”

• Allow the discomfort to be there. Abandon the wish for the feeling to disappear. Let the discomfort come and go as it pleases, like a guest in your own home. You can repeat, “allow…allow…allow.”

• “Soften, soothe and allow.” “Soften, soothe and allow.” You can use these three words like a mantra, reminding yourself to incline with tenderness toward your suffering.

• If you experience too much discomfort with an emotion, stay with your breath until you feel better.

• Slowly open your eyes when you’re ready.


The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion was originally founded in 2012 by the developers of MSC, Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff, and is now an international nonprofit organization. They have many helpful resources on their website.


Mindfulness Resources




II.  Meditation Supplies

                        Dharma Crafts



III.  Retreat Centers etc.

            Omega Institute

                        260 Lake Drive

                        Rhinebeck NY 12572



Many mindfulness teachers, nice catalogue, beautiful setting, decent food



Insight Meditation Center

1230 Pleasant Street

Barre MA 01005

[Founded by Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Saltzberg]


New York Insight Meditation Center

28 West 27th Street, 10th floor

NY, NY            1000


Insight Meditation Center of Washington

Founded and run by Tara Brach  (posts her talks)


Mindfulness Meditation New York Collaborative     

Listings of NYC courses, teachers, other resources and videos



IV. You Tube: Tara Brach, Jon Kabat Zinn, Saki Santorelli, Sharon Salzberg, Lama Surya Das, Pema Chodren….[the world!]



V. Downloadable Meditations


From UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center—mindfulness meditations in mp3 download format. Includes 5 minute breathing exercise, 12 minute Breath, Sound, Body Meditation, 19 minute complete meditation instructions, 3 minute body and sound meditation, 3 minute loving kindness mediation.


Free Mindfulness Project – growing collection of free to download mindfulness meditation practices


Tara Brach – guided meditations and talks about mindfulness practice


Kristen Neff – various meditations on cultivating self compassion


Christopher Germer – various guided meditations in cultivating self-compassion


Gregory Kramer –Insight Dialogue, taking mindfulness to interpersonal communication


VI. Mindfulness Apps


A. Calm ($)

Includes timer, background scenery, sounds, bedtime stories.


B.  Headspace ($)

Andy Puddicombe, meditation teacher


C. Insight Timer (free)

Also doubles as mindfulness guide. Well known teachers like Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein


D.. Zenso

Excellent timer


E. Ten Percent Happier -- Dan Harris (many guided meditations, also his podcast)

(free with ads, no ads with subscription)





Mindfulness Bibliography


Bauer-Wu, Susan. Leaves Fall Gently: Living Fully with Serious and Life-Limiting Illness Through  Mindfulness, compassion and Connectedness. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2011


Birch, Vidyamala. Living Well with Pain and Illness. 


Boorstein, Sylvia. It’s Easier Than You Think. San Francisco: Harper, 1995


Brach, Tara. Radical Acceptance. NY: Bantam Dell, 2003


Brach, Tara. True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart. NY: Bantam Dell, 2012


Brantley, Jeffrey. Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and compassion Can Free You from Anxiety, Fear and Panic. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2007


Chodron, Pema. Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change. Boston: Shambhala, 2012


Chodron, Pema. The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving Kindness. Boston: Shambhala, 1991


Fishman, Barbara. Emotional Healing Through Mindfulness Meditation. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 2002


Germer, Christopher, The Mindful Path to Self Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions. New York, Guilford Press, 2009


Goldstein, Joseph and Kornfield, Jack. Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation. Boston: Shambhala, 1987


Gunaratana, Bhante Henepola. Mindfulness in Plain English. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2011


Hamilton, Mina. Serenity to Go. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 2001


Harris, Dan. Ten Percent Happier. NY, NY: Dey Street Books, 2014


Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Full Catastrophe Living, New York: Delacorte Press, 1990


Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Wherever You Go There You Are. New York: Hyperion, 1994


Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through MIndfulness. New York: Hyperion, 2005


Kaiser-Greenland, S. The Mindful Child. New York: Free Press, 2009


Kornfield, Jack. A Path With Heart. New York: Bantam, 1994

Kornfield, Jack. After the Ecstasy the Laundry. New York: Bantam Books, 2000


Kornfield, Jack: Meditation for Beginners. Boulder: Sounds True, 2008


Levey, Joel and Levey, Michelle. The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration and Meditation. Boston: Wisdom Publications. 1987


Levine, Stephen. Guided Meditations, Explorations and Healings. New York: Anchor Books, 1991


Neff, Kristin. Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Uncertainty Behind. NY: Harper Collins, 2011


Nepo, Mark. The Book of Awakening. Berkeley, CA: Conari Press, 2000


Rosenbaum, Elana. Being Well (Even When You’re Sick): Mindfulness Practices for People with Cancer and Other Serious Illnesses. Boston: Shambala, 2012


Santorelli, Saki. Heal Thy Self. New York: Bell Tower, 1999.


Siegel, Ronald. The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems. New York: The Guilford Press, 2010.


Simmons, Philip, Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life. New York: Bantam, 2002


Stahl, Bob and Goldstein, Elisha. A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2010


Thich Nhat Hanh. The Miracle of Mindfulness. Boston: Beacon, 1976.


Thich Nhat Hanh. Peace is Every Step. New York: Bantam, 1991


Thich Nhat Hanh. Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames. New York: Penguin Putnam, 2001


Tolle, Eckart. The Power of Now. Novato, CA: New World Library. 1999


Williams, M., Teasdale, J., Segal, Z., & Kabat-Zinn, J. The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness. New York: Guilford Press, 2007




<< New text box >>

Kathleen BishopPh.D

Sleepers Awake! A Lenten series

February 18, 25,

March 3, 10, 17

4pm -6pm

St. George's Church

Rumson NJ

In-person and online

Rev. Drs. Jim Jones & Kathleen Bishop,



Spiritual awakening is a term often used to describe a new appreciation for our innate connection to the divine. It can also refer to a state of being that is alert, vigilant and mindful vs. the dormancy of “auto-pilot.” 


In this 5-week series we will teach the basics of mindfulness meditation for those just beginning or for those who wish to bring fresh eyes and ears to the familiar rhythms of Lent and Easter through contemplative practice. Each week will build on the last to offer a step-by-step method for establishing a meditation practice, even for those who say, “I can’t meditate.”

Midway through the series we will offer a Lenten Quiet Day as an opportunity to put the teachings into practice. Throughout the course, participants will be encouraged to embrace the Lenten season as a time to ‘go deep” into contemplative prayer using the tools of mindful awareness we will learn and share together.

We hope you will consider joining us!



Contact me

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